Insurance market Lloyd’s of London on Friday announced insurance for ships carrying food from Ukraine via freshly-agreed Black Sea corridors, removing a barrier to getting crucial exports underway.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said it was “an important step in ensuring grain exports can leave Black Sea ports following the vital U.N. agreement last week.”
One of the key concerns after Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the U.N. signed a deal last week to reopen Black Sea ports blocked by five months of war was around providing security assurances to traders concerned about navigating the mined waters.
Lloyd’s said its new export facility will allow vessels transporting grain and other food products from Ukrainian ports to have reliable coverage in place for their voyages.
Patrick Tiernan, chief of markets at Lloyd’s, said the cover would “add essential protections to the deal brokered by the U.N. last week and represents the latest support from Lloyd’s and the insurance industry to help the international community respond to the conflict.”
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday visited the Odesa region to see a ship loaded with grain as exports resume for the first time since the Feb. 24 invasion.
Moscow agreed not to attack exporting vessels setting sail from ports including Odesa in last week’s deal, but its commitment was thrown into question when Russian missiles hit Odesa hours later.
Truss said: “[Russian President Vladimi] Putin must honour this deal and allow ships to leave Ukraine to help alleviate the hugely damaging impact this war has had on global food security.”
It is hoped millions of tons of grain that have been trapped in Ukraine by the conflict will be released to countries in Africa and the Middle East and help ease an international food crisis.